Monday, July 30, 2007

Oh my...the drama continues!

First, I must preface this with a statement: None of my family knows about this blog. I haven't even given the address to Ethan yet. I will...just not yet. Anyway, I just wanted you all to know since they don't have it they won't be offended by this post!

There seems to be a flair for the drama in my family. Usually its just plain funny and I love it. At times it gets extreme. What happened with my sister this weekend is made even more funny by my dad's recent escapade. He is now a world traveler. Why you might ask? Well, he flew for the first time in over 30 yrs. Yep...from Stockton to Las Vegas. Its about an hour and ten minutes. I'm pretty sure once you level off its time to go back down. Basically, my mom said he sat motionless the whole time, holding onto the magazines for dear life. When my mom wanted to read her magazine it was out of the question. Then the day they came back he took the longest nap ever...for his jetlag. That's right ladies and gentlemen...welcome to my family!

Saturday we went rafting down Cache Creek. Its an irrigation channel with at least one Class 3 rapid. It is a nice way to get back into the game, since we leave later this week to raft in Oregon with 4+ rapids. The Oregon trip is guided. Cache Creek is 2 people in a raft, no guide. This was my third time. 2 friends from college plus their husbands went, along with my sister and brother. I am not even sure if I can do the story justice. A Lifetime Channel movie may be in the works already.

Picture 2 people who have never rafted before (sister & brother). There was a lot of arguing and rafting backwards. We tried to help and give pointers. My sister said my brother was "acting like dad." My brother said my sister was "giving up too easy or would only paddle for a minute, then stop." Major communication issues. We had already stopped for lunch, and numerous other times to dump the rafts. You tend to take in a lot of water during the rapids and cannot stear properly with a raft full of water.

We had just gotten back in the rafts and things seemed to be going well. Eddie and Lisa actually went into a rapid facing forward! Then I saw something red fall out of the raft....that would be my sisters visor...that she was still wearing! We were behind them, a ways back. Usually they were slow and we wanted to give them some time before we caught up with them. From where we were it looked like she was grabbing onto the raft. That is a big no no. She panicked and forgot all of the instructions.

I heard her screaming, which I took as a good sign. She wasn't screaming that she was hurt. She was just scared. When she finally moved away from the raft she was facing upstream...not a good idea. We were all yelling for her to face her legs downstream and ride out the rest of the rapid. That is the safest thing to do. Mind you, we are screaming this while negotiating ourselves through a rapid. She is crying, saying she is dieing. Yes...she might have been the first person to drown with a life jacket on. She also keeps telling me she doesn't know how to swim. Now, our mom sent us for private swim lessons for years so mom had some issues with that!

Basically, she was fighting the current and fighting her jacket by trying to swim instead of floating down. Had she followed the directions we received at the beginning of the trip, all of this would have lasted less than 1 minute. It was less than 100 yrds. But, she preferred to scream and face the wrong way, basically sitting in a rapid that is throwing her around. As I am trying to help her, I feel like she really thinks I don't WANT to help I'm ignoring her which totally hurts my feelings. Once it was safe, my superman husband swam to her and brought her over to our raft. She wanted to quit and we said no. Ethan and my brother had to hike back and find her missing paddle, then my supermana husband piloted her the rest of the trip, while I rafted with my brother.

She already told him that he saved her life and now we are planning the movie. Lisa will be played by Sandra Bullock. I will be played by Reese Witherspoon. Ethan wants to be Vin Diesel, and my brother = George Clooney! I have to say I'm not upset she was scared, just that she wouldnt listen when we tried to help her. And when I pointed out to her she wasn't dieing if she could talk she even gave me a dirty look! After the initial fall out of the raft she never went under once. I knew that if I babied her she wouldn't finish the trip. And to give her some props, she did finish...with the biggest rapid ahead....MOTHER. Eddie and I went down backwards...I'm starting to think it was the raft cuz I know what I'm doing and we couldn't get our raft to go straight for nothin.

Ethan was a hero, along with another guy who helped Eddie and I get off a rock. We had been there at least 5 minutes and were taking on water, and the whole group was ahead of us. 2 kayakers stopped and tried to help by telling me to hold on to their oar. I'm pretty sure they were trying to kill me, but I tried. Didn't work. Then all of a sudden another superman shows up. He worked for the company we rafted with. He was all alone which would have scared me to death! He manuevered the rapid we were stuck, pulled over, ran on the banks to us, jumped in the water, had us both sit in the front and pushed us off. He jumped into the back of the raft and just as we were gonna ask for guidance he jumped out, and back to his raft he swam. HE ROCKS.

And after all of this excitement, Ethan and I (fools as my sister calls us) are heading to Oregon on Friday to do it all over again!

Pictures from the top:
#1 - Lisa and I at the end...see, she is fine
#2 -my sister excited, before we started
#3 - Ethan and Lisa
#4 - Ethan and I

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

We love our Nikki Sue

We had a scare with one of our dogs yesterday, and I'm glad to report its not as bad as we thought. We recently introduced some "senior" food into their diet, as they are 9.5 and 8 yrs old. They both have sensitive stomachs and had reactions. Don't worry...I won't go into detail. Then yesterday Nikki couldn't stand up. We assumed her tummy hurt, but had never seen her like that before. Ethan's sister works at a vet so she picked her up in the AM for some testing. I was a basket case all day. Nikki is our first true pet as a family. I had a cat before we got married, but Ethan doesn't count her. We got Nikki 2 months after we were married. She came home with us and acted like she had been with us always. She is a daddy's girl, which is the reason we got another dog a year later. I NEEEDED SOME LOVE.
Turns out the food switch was just a fluke. Nikki has severe arthritis in her back. She has bone spurs growing on her spine. The xrays We're so thankful the vet took her time and noticed she had a tender spot during examination, and just didn't assume it was the food switch. We are also thankful it wasn't a problem with her pancreas or liver. She is now on meds and walking around.
We just really love her. She is the kind of dog that knows when you're upset. She will lay in bed with you when you are sick. We just love her, now and always.

Monday, July 23, 2007


I've been meaning to blog for days, I just don't know what happened. I guess just stuff. Anyway, the neighbors were outside until 3am Friday night. This time I could even hear them with the windows closed. I got no sleep. I devised a plan that when Ryan woke up at 5:30 I would let him go in the backyard and be as noisy as he wanted! But then I was too tired to even go downstairs and let him play in our room for a while. Usually I try and keep him inside til 8am....that's me, just being considerate--AGAIN.

So, after a night with no sleep I went to see The Fray with my sister and her friends. I was also the driver. It was about 150 miles roundtrip. I just hate driving at night and not knowing where I am. We were also supposed to have dinner at Chipotle but could never find it. Damn Yahoo maps. The concert was fun, but I had never heard of the two opening bands. We got home at 1am and still I COULD NOT SLEEP. Something is wrong with me.

I was going to brag about Ryan's new schedule, but he already switched back. For 2 weeks he went to bed at 7 and woke up at 6. It was fantastic and I'm trying very hard to bring that schedule back. We also had a no nap Saturday and a 30min nap Sunday. This kid will not nap if his daddy is home. It is getting ridiculous over here with all the daddy love.

We've already been to a 10am playdate at the park with water sprayers. Yeah! I'm hoping for at least an hour nap today and try to get us back on track. Mondays are just plain hard.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Neighbors and HOAs

I am going to sound like a totally old lady because I'm complaining about noisy neighbors. But they need to be bbq'ing in their backyard @ 11:00pm and staying out there til 2am? Let's also mention there were kids outside. I'm thinking they were about 10 yrs old and younger, and YES I know its summer so there is no school, but they should have been in bed. We usually turn the AC off at night and open windows. A little hard to do when your neighbors are about 2 feet away and you can hear every word of their conversation. Plus, Ryan was asleep and we all know not to wake Ryan! I know our boring lifestyle isn't for everyone, and not everyone's kid goes to bed early, but I think 2am is a little late to be outside and NOISY.

They bothered Ethan for a little while, but once he falls asleep he is fine. I could not fall asleep and it drove me crazy. I thought about getting up and closing all the windows and turning the AC back on. #1 - I was too lazy #2 - the AC is just as loud as they are!!!

So, we are either the "old people" or we're neurotic parents. Probably both. When we lived in Sacramento we lived on an old person street. Most of the people were retired. I loved it. Eventhough we were the youngest people, we fit in. We were quiet. Everyone watched out for everyone, it was great. Ethan and I joke that we should live in a retirement community. I guess this is what happens when two super responsible people marry eachother.

I just tend to be considerate of others around me. I don't bring my toddler to a restaurant cuz I know how its gonna go down and 99.9% of the time its not pretty. We leave our two dogs in the house when we're not home--risking all of our belongings and boy have we lost a lot of things--but we are considerate of the neighborhood and don't want them to have to hear any barking or possibly have their yards ruined by Shelby digging under the fence. Even when we are home the dogs are usually in the house. They are spoiled that way. We don't leave our trashcans out. We pick up dog poop on walks.

We are renting in a planned community with a homeowner's association (HOA). We have lived in 2 other HOAs and weren't big fans. Eventhough rule following tends to be in our nature, we have our limits. In the first HOA we were renters. It was obvious the board knew which houses were renters. We started getting complaint letters very early. The first was for an oil stain in the driveway. The oil stain was from a car that had been parked there by the previous renters. When we moved in it was covered by an oil stained carpet. We trashed it and thought the stain by itself was less tacky than an old carpet that used to be white. Our property manager took care of that. Then there were the numerous notices to "mow our front lawn." WE DIDN'T HAVE A FRONT LAWN. NOT ONE BLADE OF GRASS. NO LIE. The owner of the house lived in AZ. She moved to San Diego for a few years, then went back to AZ. Her entire landscape, front and back, was a desert motiff. Cactus, etc. I wrote the board nasty letters, cc'ing the attorney I worked for (love doing that) and told them they were harassing us just becaue we were renters. Needless to say, I was happy to leave that place.

Our next HOA was a house we owned. There was lots of drama on the board, and we tried to keep our distance. There was a rule that if you made improvements you had to get the approval of the architectual committee. Fine by me...except that when it was time to landscape our backyard, no one was gonna see it. We lived with a dirt backyard for years. We were probably the last people to do it. I can see about getting approval for the front yard. And you also had to get all neighbors adjacent to you to approve it. This was serious business. But for us, we had the landscapers coming and didn't think it was a huge deal. We were doing the same thing everyone else on the street did that had our type of yard....a small flat area w/ a slope. We put in a cement patio and walkway for the trashcans, added a small retaining wall at the bottom of the slope, and put in some sprinklers and sod. Neither of my side neighbors could see my yard without climbing the fence and looking over because they we were 3 single story houses in a row. Even the house behind us couldn't see anything. They were at the top of the slope and she would have to walk all the way to the back fence and look down.

So, we submitted our "drawings" to the committee but didn't get neighbor approval. And what happened...nothing. But I must add this, the back neighbor put in a huge (and I mean massive) white gazebo in her backyard. I could see it from every window at the back of my house. Every, family room, bedroom, bathroom. It really was a park size gazebo and so not appropriate and she didn't ask me for approval. And there it still sits.

So, now we don't want to live in another HOA when its time to buy, but we also don't want to live nextdoor to someone with 5 cars parked on the front lawn. Nor do we want to live next to noisy people. Or someone who keeps their dog outside all night and barks all night.

Yep...we're old and picky.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Pixie Woods

Yesterday my mom and I took Ryan to Pixie Woods. Its a small theme park for kids/toddlers. There are climbing structures, a train, carousel, water sprayers, etc. All Ryan wanted to do was sit in the fire truck, walk up and down a ramp, and skip around. Yes...I said skip. Not sure when he learned that, but he was 'a skippin' today. I took a zillion pictures and couldn't get one of him looking at me. We had some tantrums, mostly because we wouldn't let him sit on the fire truck all day. This kid beats to his own drum. He likes to wonder around aimlessly, but when he finds something cool he wants to stay there and do only that.

Picture #1 - Ryan stopping to smell the flowers

Picture #2 - snack time

Picture #3 - sitting in the stage coach

Picture #4 - the fire truck (and our first tantrum of the day)

Picture #5 - on the carousel with grandma. he desperately wanted off (do you like how my mom made it look like she was having fun?)

Picture #6 - Ryan standing just outside the water spray area looking at the kids running around and screaming like they are crazy.

One day I will learn to post captions under my pictures and they will be in order...maybe not.

Monday, July 9, 2007


More than meets the eye? I guess. I have seen movies way worse than Transformers. I will admit (to you, but not Ethan) that it had an interesting storyline. The acting was decent for an action film. I will even say I was impressed with the special effects. So there...What did annoy me was halfway through the movie Ethan leans over and says "we might have to get a camaro." Ok...let's see. We just bought a 2005 Honda S2000 2 months ago! Its not the Corvette he wanted, and he had to settle, but come he seriously thinking about getting rid of that for a camaro? The car talk is gonna kill me. I had a 1992 camaro. Red Rosie. We kept her even after I got the Passat because Ethan liked driving it better than his 99 Dakota. But there was a time when she had to go and I'm pretty sure there was a tear in his eye. There were no tears when we said goodbye to the Passat! Freakin money pit. Anyway...

Ethan definately will buy Transformers on dvd, and I'm pretty sure Ryan will be getting some Transformer toys that daddy will "help" him play with. Fine by me. I'm glad he enjoyed it. It brought him back to when he was a kid and that is great. I got lunch at Chilis. Works for me.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Did I really promise that?

Apparently, in exchange for Ethan going to see Macbeth, I promised to see Transformers. Did I really? Hmmmm. The part that is really annoying is that he keeps telling me "you're gonna love it." #1 highly unlikely. #2 how does he know he is gonna love it? He WANTS to love it, but it could be really bad. He would never admit it, but it could be terrible. Ofcourse I will go, but I will pick a nice place for lunch also. MY PICK. Then if the movie is bad I can think about the yummy lunch I just had.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Our weekend

Ryan had a fever of 103 on Friday, so the weekend wasn't looking too good. The weird thing is that he had no other "sick" symptoms. This has happened before and always leaves me scratching my head. He ended up sleeping 13 hrs. He has NEVER EVER done that. I on the other hand got no sleep. I was turning on the monitor every 30 min making sure he was still breathing. I am crazy like that. Ethan scared me once by saying a fever can spike in your sleep and you can die. So comforting. Whether its true or not, that is all I can think of when I put Ryan to bed with a fever. He woke up fine on Saturday and after some juice and pancakes he was ready to go. He took his usual walk with daddy to the pool, then we headed to the farmers market. We were a bit off all day since we don't know what to do with a kid that wakes up at 7:00am. What time should he nap? Since he has been a 5:00 waker since he started sleeping through the night (almost exactly 8 months ago) we were lost.

After a nap and lunch we hit the grocery store. I decided to make banana chocolate chip bars. Just an FYI: don't plan to make something you've never made before and then take it to an outing. The bars turned out more like a cake instead of a cookie, but Ethan loved them and they are gone today. I was rushing them to cool so we could drop Ryan off at grandma's and we headed to Sacramento for the Shakespeare festival.

Yes, I drag Ethan to plays whenever I can. We saw quite a few when we lived in San Diego. I love the La Jolla Playhouse. He does not LOVE going, but he goes for me and I LOVE that about him. I should also mention I have attended computer shows, boat shows, car shows, etc...for him, because I love him.

We saw Macbeth. The 3 witches were awesome. It was done in a Kabuki style. We met our friends John, Heather and Rachelle there. We had a nice picnic for dinner and relaxed. It is an outdoor stage in a park so the setting is beautiful. Ofcourse it was hard to stay awake on the drive home! Man, I feel so old. We got home around midnight, happy that Ryan was staying the night at grandma's and we wouldn't have to be up at 5:00am!

Sunday Ethan used his icecream maker for the first time (yum) and he took Ryan to run errands and to the park so I could rest because I was not feeling too hot. I'm feeling fine today and getting ready for the heat. Its supposed to be 104 on the 4th.